Total quality management in the South African motor industry

Quality has become an increasingly important customer decision factor for a growing number of products and services (Feigenbaum 1983) . The increased quality awareness amongst Consumers, coupled with high levels of competition amongst manufacturers, has led to an upward spiral, in what are considered by increasingly quality-conscious customers to be "acceptable quality standards. Much controversy surrounds what means will ensure the production of quality products and services. The traditional approach to quality improvement involves the separation of quality responsibility from production responsibility. This means that those who are producing goods and services are not held directly responsible for the quality of those goods or services. According to this approach, quality is seen as a function of the level of inspection, and as such is treated as a post-production function. This approach to quality improvement has many downfalls, its primary drawback is the high cost associated with the maintenance of quality standards.(Abbreviation abstract)